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Residents protest kidnapping, barricade Kaduna-Abuja highway

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Residents of Gonin-Gora barricaded the Kaduna-Abuja highway on Thursday in the troubled Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State while protesting the kidnapping of an unspecified number of people in the area.

The residents stormed the highway, protesting and urging the government to do something over the incessant attacks by bandits in the area.

According to an eyewitness, kidnappers, on Wednesday night through the early hours of Thursday, attacked the community, kidnapping an unspecified number of the residents.

The Kaduna State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, ASP Mansir Hassan, also confirmed the incident but declined further comment.

An eyewitness who is also a resident of the area said the attack happened from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Thursday.

“The hoodlums operated uninterrupted for over four hours without any security operatives in sight. This forced the residents to come out this morning to protest the incident.

“We were woken up by gunshots as the bandits entered the community, shooting indiscriminately. Several residents were taken away to an unknown destination by the heavily armed attackers that invaded the area,” the eyewitness, who is also a resident of the area, said.

The Joint Task Force of security operatives was deployed to the scene to ease traffic flow.

Our correspondent gathered that some residents of the area had fled the community in fear that the bandits might return.

Meanwhile, reacting to the incident, the state government warned residents against taking the laws into their own hands by blocking roads and harassing Nigerians.

The state commissioner for internal security and home affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said, “The Kaduna State Security Council has warned against blockages of public roads and harassment of innocent citizens by persons conducting protests.

“This follows the blockage of the Gonin Gora axis of the Kaduna-Abuja Road by some protesters on Thursday morning, in response to reports of a bandit attack in Unguwan Auta of Gonin Gora general area, Chikun LGA, thus denying commuters access through the route.

“The members of the Security Council, comprising the Commissioner of Police, Audu Ali; Director of Department of State Services, Abdul Adamu Eneche; Garrison Commander, 1 Division Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Muhammad Kana; and the Overseeing Commissioner, Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs, in the company of security forces, dismantled the roadblocks erected and subsequently opened up the road for use by motorists.

“The members of the Kaduna State Security Council, while interacting with community leaders, expressed dissatisfaction with the menace of blocking roads, a situation that infringes on the rights of citizens and travellers using these roads and other public utilities.

“As of the time of this security update, citizens and motorists are plying the Gonin Gora axis of Kaduna-Abuja Road without obstruction.”

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